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Russian companies owe over $2bn to Belarusian ones

Economy 09.12.2019 | 16:26

MOSCOW, 9 December (BelTA) – Positive trends have been registered in matters concerning the reduction of the overdue receivables owed by Russian companies to Belarusian ones, BelTA learned from Prosecutor General of Belarus Aleksandr Konyuk in Moscow.

A conference took place at premises of the Belarusian embassy in Russia to discuss ways to help exporters reduce and get rid of overdue receivables. The event was organized by the Office of the Prosecutor General of Belarus in association with the embassy. Executives of Belarusian distributors took part in it. As of 1 October 2019, Russian contractors owed $2,115.7 million to Belarusian commercial entities while overdue receivables stood at $147.6 million. The figure dropped by $1.7 million or 1.1% in January-September 2019.

Aleksandr Konyuk noted that the Office of the Prosecutor General has been looking into the problem of overdue accounts receivable for five years already. “More than 400 lawsuits to the tune of over $130 million have been filed,” he said. “We've managed to recover over $100 million. We've stopped the process of creation of so-called fraudulent structures. They know that law enforcement bodies are looking into it, this is why commercial entities no longer dare do it.” Over 100 criminal cases have been opened over the course of five years, primarily against Belarusian representatives of retail chains.

Aleksandr Konyuk mentioned negative trends as well. “The Office of the Prosecutor General looks into accounts receivable with a criminal past or present,” he said. “Unfortunately, some executives stay idle hoping that we will deal with the problem [of overdue receivables]. They should also take very serious measures. We can help but they have to do most of the work. But unfortunately there is a trend of laziness.”

“Overdue receivables are falling,” Aleksandr Konyuk stated. The largest sums are still owed to enterprises of the Belarusian Industry Ministry and the Belarusian state petrochemical concern Belneftekhim.

The Office of the Prosecutor General in association with the Belarusian embassy in Russia has created a special database for Belarusian companies to check the reliability of potential Russian partners. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Russia Vladimir Semashko said that problems relating to the return of accounts receivable are also resolved during his trips to regions of Russia. In particular, the problem of recovering a debt of $20 million to the Belarusian company BelOMO has been resolved recently.

The ambassador noted that if necessary, the embassy also contacts the Russian Internal Affairs Ministry and the Russian Office of the Prosecutor General. “We pull all possible levers in order to reduce these accounts receivable,” the ambassador stressed.

He noted: “It is important that the system works and certain results are available.”

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